It’s more expensive to keep a roof over your head in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit than anywhere else in the country, according to new numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
A two-bedroom unit’s monthly rent averages more than $2,200 in Iqaluit. For the same size, renters in Vancouver, Toronto and even Whitehorse pay about $1,000 less.
Yellowknife is the second most expensive rental city in the country. The average two-bedroom apartment costs about $1,500.
Iqaluit's mayor, Madeleine Redfern, said the high cost of housing is not surprising, and she said it’s a growing problem.
"Without housing, it contributes to kids not going to school, it contributes to addictions and high rates of violence. So it is a core issue that we absolutely need to tackle and address so we can actually have a vibrant and healthy community," Redfern said.
The companies who rent places to live in Iqaluit said it's simply a question of supply and demand, and the cost of doing business.
"Iqaluit is a very expensive place to do business, as it is in all parts of the North. It's very expensive to build buildings, but they're very expensive to operate as well," said Bruce Alton, Chief Operating Officer for Nunastar Properties.
More than three quarters of the people who live in Nunavut are renters.